Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development (GPPD)

The annual Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development (GPPD) seminar series covers a range of topics that are of interest to trainees including abstract writing, job search skills, poster presentation skills, and career opportunities.

GPPD topics are organized by core competencies that are nationally recognized in graduate education. We continue to consult with faculty and students to develop additional GPPD seminars to align with programmatic and student needs.


To assist students and postdoctoral scholars in tracking and sharing their skills acquisition, the Graduate School has instituted micro-credentialing, wherein GPPD seminar attendees earn credentials or digital "badges" for the knowledge and skills they acquire from the GPPD series and related activities. Micro-credentials are shareable on personal LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Mozilla Backpack pages to show off skills that are highly desired by employers but may not be apparent from a transcript or diploma. Learn more about micro-credentials.

Winter 2020 Schedule of GPPD Events

 CANCELED - Writing research statements 

Noon to 1:30 p.m., March 19, 2020 in the UGL Community Room, 3rd floor 

A strong research statement is a key component of a successful job search in academia or at other research-intensive institutions. In this seminar, we will learn what a research statement is, what components it should contain, how long it should be, the importance of good writing and background research, and what constitutes a winning research statement. This will be a hands-on seminar, with writing exercises and the opportunity to compare research statements written by others. 

Session leader: Peter Hoffmann, professor of physics 

Target audience: PhD students and postdocs 

After attending this GPPD, attendees will be able to:

  • Explain the important role of research statements in job applications.
  • Identify the essential components of a research statement.
  • Apply professional writing techniques.
  • Compose strong professional research statements.
  • Critically examine and compare research statements to understand how they may be evaluated by potential reviewers.

CANCELED - Careers Outside of Academia

4 to 5 p.m., April 7, 2020 in the UGL, Community Room 

As graduate students and doctoral graduates, you are among the most well-educated members of society. You have tremendous strengths and skills that are transferable outside academia. Hear from a panel of successful mid-career professionals with non-traditional career trajectories who have worked outside academia. 

Session leader: Tonya Matthews, director of STEM learning innovation and associate provost for inclusive workforce development

Target audience: PhD students and postdocs